The best time to make this crumble is when elderberries are fully ripened and blackberries are just beginning to ripen in the hedgerows.
They are both worth foraging for, as they enhance immunity, especially against colds and flu. They also have a mild diuretic action, and help maintain healthy blood vessels. Both elderberries and blackberries are a good source of antioxidant anthocyanins – the pigment responsible for their deep colour – which helps fight free-radical damage.
If elderberries are no longer in season, use blueberries instead. This recipe serves 4–6.
For the filling
For the topping
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
2 To make the crumble topping, place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the butter, and rub it into the flour with your fingertips. Add the ground almonds and molasses sugar and mix together well until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the chopped walnuts and mix them in well.
3 Place the apples in a large saucepan with a little water and simmer for 10 minutes over a low heat.
4 Transfer the softened apples to a large, deep baking dish and add the berries.
5 Completely cover the fruits with the crumble topping, press it down lightly,
6 Bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes or until golden on top, then serve either hot or warm with the crème fraîche.
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